Just about everyone’s heard about the Joplin, MO tornado by now. Depending on who you listen to, it was an F5 level tornado measuring about a mile wide and traveling between 6 and 7 miles across the middle of the town destroying approximately 8,000 buildings. At least 116 people have been confirmed dead, with some reports as high as 290.
By anyone’s account, it’s a horrible tragedy that gave no warning. And it’s moments like these when people need to know they’re loved. FEMA has moved in and the Red Cross has set up, along with all the other expected agencies and organizations.
It would be easy to sit back, comfortably removed by some 700 miles and watch the news footage, say a prayer and maybe even text “JOPLIN” to donate $10 to United Way. It would be so easy… And it would be such a missed opportunity.
Crises are unique windows of opportunity to introduce Jesus to hurting, perhaps even desperate, people. When things are going great, it’s easy to ignore the presence of God. But when things are broken, collapsed around you, and you discover there’s no safety net in life, Jesus is viewed in an entirely different light.
Sure, FEMA can rebuild houses, the Red Cross can bandage up wounds and United Way can fill hungry bellies. But only Jesus can heal spirits and restore true hope.
The Church has a responsibility to love people more than the government. The Church has a mandate to give more than a bunch of folks sitting at home, watching tv and texting $10 donations out of pity. The Church has an opportunity to prove itself in moments like these.
That’s why GCC is collecting donated items and money RIGHT NOW. On Sunday, a group of us will be heading for Joplin with a couple trailers full of supplies. We’ll be staying for a week, serving in whatever way we can. And you can help in a couple different ways…
- First, you can give toward the project. Below, you’ll see the list sent out today, with items we’re accepting.
- Second, you can consider going with us. There are 5 of us going as of now and we have room for 3-4 more. We’ll leave on Sunday, May 29 and return by Saturday, June 4.
Here’s the list of items we’re specifically collecting… Please bring them to GCC Monday-Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm or Saturday morning between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm.
- Deodorant for men and women
- Diapers (all sizes)
- New underwear (all sizes)
- Hand/body wipes
- Feminine products
- Small snacks (power bars, crackers, etc.)
- Bottled water
- Shoes in good or new condition